Saturday 30 April 2016

'Yachts, Port Solent' Pen & Ink

This is a marina and shopping complex near to Portsmouth where I used to live, a lovely spot when it was sunny like today.
I wasn't up to painting it but hopefully will get back there and do it another day.

Friday 29 April 2016

#67 'Quality Street' 4x4"

I have been poorly this week (with a nasty cough) , so I was only up to doing a small painting today. 

These chocolates were surpringsly tricky to paint. The colours are quite intense, I used my artifical colours like Pathalo Blue & Green and Magenta. Lots of reflective surfaces with highlights and shine. Many colours are in the shadows too. I did paint the background a pale pink but change it as the chocs disappeared, the whiter background makes them pop out.

The chocolates are: The Purple One (Hazelnut & Caramel), Green Triangle (Noisette Pate),
Vanilla Fudge.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

'Skies 1 & 2' Pastel on paper, 10x15" & 8x10"

Gorgeous sky again had to draw it. I haven't really used pastels much before, so I  experimenting with what they can do. I need to invest in some more colours and surfaces. I had a look online and got rather overwhelmed with the 400 colours I could choose from in just one make!
Also the surfaces, this one is with a sandpaper style rough textured like sandpaper, great for pastels as they stick to the paper nicely. 

I kept it quite loose in the marks and not putting much detail in. A couple of colours I overlaid with another but mostly it's one layer. I also let some of the brown paper show through to add unity to the whole - like an oil painting.

Monday 25 April 2016

'The River Wey, Guildford' Pen & Ink

My car was having a MOT so I had an hour to spare, not enough time to paint but I liked this narrow boat scene so I drew it in pen and ink. The pens is supposed to be water soluble but the ink didn't move very much when I painted it over it with water. 

Interesting view of the navy blue narrow boat and behind it were two barns, the larger one was called 'Dapdune Warf' a busy boating area and good for a riverside stroll.

Saturday 23 April 2016

#66 'Magnolia' 6x6"

I used a deep dusty pink ground base colour (see pic below) which allowed me to see the white petals of the magnolia.
Broad strokes were used with not too much fussy detail. The tonal differences were very small, I did light the flowers from the side to create more shadows and interest.
I decided to paint over the top of the dusty pink ground in a similar but lighter colour graduating it as I went up the board also leaving gaps so the base colour shows through and links it together.

Friday 22 April 2016

#65 'Rhododendron' 6x6"

A tricky subject! Painting the flowers so they are defined but not overworked. Simplyfing the pink tones and shapes otherwise its confusing to the eye. 
I did paint in a blue background thinking it's like the sky, but it looked dreadful! It's now a creamy pink colour (the camera doesn't pick it up)  
I worked on the edges so they were soft, flowers are delicate so a crisp line makes them look cut out and not sit in the painting. 
I had trouble getting the cutting to stand up in the glass, bluetack on the bottom, masking tape the leaf to the glass, all didnt the end I raided my husbands garden sand but didn't realise Rhodies have a short life, I should have put water in the glass as well as sand! It wilted before I finished :-(  
Anyway I'm pleased with the result, and will try some more flowers...

Thursday 21 April 2016

'Bramshott Common' Sketch

Having taught the oil painting course this morning I didn't have enough 'quality' energy to do a painting this afternoon but wanted to get out as it was a lovely day. This view is just down the road from us (in Surrey.) 
I loved the sky and endeavoured to capture it in charcoal and conte pencil, it would have worked well in pastels too.

I drew the sky first, as it was changing but then I could draw the trees over the top.
I was facing directly into the sun so the view was 'contra jour' - it made the tree dark and silhouetted. I put the little trees in to give it scale and space. 

Wednesday 20 April 2016

#64 'Sugar Pot' 6x6"

I'm happy with this little pot a lot of thought went into it.
I rumaged in my husbands workshop for some wood for the pot to sit on. I winched my tripot holding my light box as high as I could, see pic below. The composition is eye level so there is very little table surface showing. 

I wanted to emphasis the pattern and painted it first as that's what drew me to the pot, the white and blue combination and the Japanese feel to it. (see below) 
Painting a light object like this it works well to paint on a coloured surface, so I painted the board using acrylics (as they are fast drying) last night ready for today. 

Once I had finished the pot the original warm terracotta background worked so I painted over it in oils, a darker tone which makes the pot jump out, also has the warm and cool colour element.

Monday 18 April 2016

#63 'Devils Punch Bowl, Sunrise' 7.5x9"

I was up early at 5am to catch the sunrise over the Punch bowl. The sun is to the right out of the view but it lights up the sky in a rainbow of colours. I also like the misty land it looked very atmospheric. 
I used a bigger than usual board today to try and capture the space, also a finer weave texture, so the finish is smoother.
I knew I had to work quickly as the light wouldn't be like this for long. I started with the yellow stripe of the sky and worked down to get the important parts in first. 
I used Manganese Blue for the sky it works well because its translucent and great for getting a light feel.
The sunrise last about half an hour and then changed radically as the sun came up over the 'bowl'. See pic below with the sun shining.

Sunday 17 April 2016

#62 'Black Down Sunset' 6x8"

My painting trip last night was a learning curve... Even though I have pared down my equipment to the essentials it all still weights a tonne! I walked about 20 minutes from the car park to this view, but I stopped after 10 as I thought I'd found a good spot it was the East side the light was warm and good clouds, I set up and then the hail pelted down, while I was waiting for it to pass I started to doubt my view as the clouds had come and it was now in the shade and quite dull (surprising how the sunlight can really lift a subject.) So I packed up and walked to the sunsetting view. I try not to take too long over finding a good subject to paint as you could always think 'the grass is greener over there!'

The clouds were magnificent when I was setting up and I was rather pleased with myself, but then I got my paint out and I realised I left my white behind. Some subjects don't have much white in them like a tomato but a cloudscape is so light compared to the land. I tried mixing the paint and using yellow to lighten. It didn't work so I called my husband he was coming anyway because he was going to photograph the area, but he had to come 2 hours earlier than expected. While I was waiting for him I did 3 little sketches here is one of them:

By the time I had started painting the clouds had all nearly gone and the sun was shining in my face! Due to the dazzle I could barely see my board and was absolutely freezing! I got back at 8.30pm last night pleased I hadn't given up but I will do a check list for painting trips in the future :-)

Thursday 14 April 2016

'Sky Study', pastel on paper

We have been drawing our hands in my painting class this week, so I was inspired to do some more drawing. 
The sky has been glorious the past few days so its great to do a sketch of it, I did it from my studio window and made up the land to go with it.

It's in chalk pastels on slightly textured paper. I haven't used pastels in years but its instant coverage and because its a wide base (not a pointed tip) it feels similar to a paint brush. The colours I have are limited but I wanted to get the essence of the clouds and movement.  (They were changing quickly!)

A French aritst who was great at these skyscapes in pastels is: Eugene Boudin.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

#61 'Cup of Tea' 6x6"

It's the first time I have painted a cup and saucer and I couldn't resist putting some tea in the cup!

My students will be tackling this soon, a good subject to practise graduating tone as it wraps around the cup light to dark. The spoon and tea will be optional for them :-)
The metal spoon you would think is light being a silver colour but its actaully quite dark. I'll have to include a biscuit next time I paint this set.

It's 'Woods' china in Iris colour from the 1950's.

Monday 11 April 2016

#60 'Pomegranate' 6x6"

Pomegranates seam to be a popular 'daily painting' subject, this is my first attempt at one. I can see why they are painted as the shape is good with the fronds at the top and lots of colours with a good sheen. 
I thought I'd try a more traditional dark background, I think it works and makes the colours richer.

Sunday 10 April 2016

#59 'Sailing on Frensham Pond' 6x6"

I painted at Frensham Little Pond a couple of weeks ago (in the fog!) This morning I painted Frensham 'big' Pond which is nearby. 
They were doing a touch of Sunday sailing, the wind was good for them not so good for me. I had fleeting spells of calm where I could see the sky reflection which I raced to capture. The little sail boats were fun to paint in. I made sure the bank of land was a strong deep colour so it showed up the sails and contrasted with the pastel colours of the sky and water. 

Thursday 7 April 2016

#58 'Rose Cupcake' 6x6"

I was given this cute cupcake by Mirabelle Cafe in Haslemere. I painted one of theirs before and thought I'd have another go. 
Some tough elements like getting the swirls of buttercream icing right and the red paper case. The background is often harder than the subject as it has to all work together and hopefully show off the subject even more. I'm pleased with the finished piece.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

#57 'Aubergine' 6x6"

This is the second time I have painted an aubergine, the first was back in January. 
I thought it would be a good subject for my students to try as it is very dark in tone but richly coloured and very shiny as well. 
I enjoyed painting it I hope they will too :-)

Tuesday 5 April 2016

#56 'Courgette & Tomato' 5x7"

I am pleased with the vibrancy of the greens and reds. The colour charts I made last week were helpful in the colour choices and mixing.

This painting is an aid my students when they will tackle a courgette next half term. 
I enjoyed painting the different greens of the planes of the courgette. I also really obsereved the shadow betwen the two vegetables, it has lots of colours and tones. 

Saturday 2 April 2016

#55 'Camber Docks, Fishing Boat' 6x8"

I really enjoyed painting this little fishing boat, it's in Portsmouth where I used live. Being a sunny day there were many people milling about I was on a walk through so lots of people stopped to chat. Behind me were houses, a couple were out in their garden and offered me a cup of tea while I was painting, so kind of them!
I broke the boat down into shapes (as though I was painting a jug!) and simplified where I could. The reflections weren't strong but enough for me to work with. 
I will go back and do more at Camber Docks, it was lovely to paint in the sun too and not so bittery cold!

The picture below shows my painting near completion - it took two and half hours. I used my new 'Open Box M' Pochade from America for the first time. It worked like a treat. I put a piece of acrylic plastic in the mixing palette which is easier to mix on and clean off. Plus my Husband made be the very nifty paint brush rest you can see on the right. So chuffed.

Friday 1 April 2016

'My Hand' Pen & Ink

I decided to have a go at drawing my hand, which I've not tried before. I enjoyed it and will do more as it's a great workout for drawing skills, no bluffing you have to draw what's there or else it looks wrong.

I also had a go at doing a quick sketch of my husband Nick while he was digging - ready for a wild flower bed :-) Quite hard to draw when someone is constantly moving. But I decided on the pose and then waited until he did that movement again.

I used a new pen I'd not tried before called 'Tombow Dual Brush Pen' its great because it's double ended with a thin nib one end and a brush like tool the other but the good thing is it's water soluble so I went over two of the hand drawings with a paintbrush full of water and it moves the ink around and adds depth and tone. 
Using a pen to draw with is not for the feint hearted as there's no rubbing out and every mark counts!